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396 


REVIEWS. 


given in Chapters V. and VL Chapter VII. concludes the book with 
original observations in diseases of the choroid. It will be noticed that 
the author has not adhered to that generally nccepted classification of 
retinal and choroidal diseases which would seem to have been based 
largely upon the changes in the pigment coat. He has noticed altera¬ 
tions in the pigment in both retinal and choroidal disease, as they seemed 
to him dependent upon coexisting inflammation of one or the other 
membrane, and lias described specific changes—hypertrophy and atrophy 
—of the pigment layer in separate sections. 

The illustrations are numerous and well executed. Many are after 
Dr. Loring’s own sketches and others are reproductions from Jaeger 
and Liebreich. In addition to the black-and-white prints in the body 
of the book there are at the end six plates, each containing two chromo¬ 
lithographs. The fault common to most attempts to portray diseases of 
the fundus—exaggeration of the abnormal conditions shorting too great 
a contrast between health}' and unhealthy structures—is found in many 
of these illustrations. 

The editor has done well to limit bis duties chiefly to the arrangement 
and classification of the material of the author, and as lie says in the 
preface, “ I fouud there was so much original matter in it, so much that 
from its very nature must provoke discussion and argument, that I 
determined to publish it as it stood, without addition or correction/’ 
The wording throughout clearly conveys the authors meaning, and the 
ideas are purposely clothed in* a conversational rather than a polished 
literary garb. Indeed, in his effort to be concise, the author has in a few 
instances fallen into the error of colloquial expression. Thus on p. 105 
he uses the following language: “ Not a single case of the slightest 
retinitis or neuro-retinitis can I find in all the literature of these cases, 
let alone a choked disc.” 

The type is of good size, the paper white and thick, typographical 
errors are few ; in short, the book is in all respects admirably printed. 

The reviewer earnestly commends the work to students of ophthal¬ 
moscopy as the best treatise in the English language on the subject. 

H. F. H. 


Hypnotisms et Croyances Ancieknes. Par le Dr. L. R. Regnieu, 
Laur£at de 1’Academic de Mfidecine, etc. Avec 46 figures et 4 planches. 
Paris, 1891. 

Hypnotism and Ancient Beliefs. By Dr. L R. Regnier, Laureate of 
the Academy of Medicine. 

This book has a distinct and special value. It differs from the com¬ 
mon run of works on hypnotism, and lias a literary merit which few of 
them possess. This is partly because it leaves the beateu track. It 
does not deal altogether with the modern “craze” called hypnotism, but 
pursues its subject in the distant past. It introduces us to the mysterie- 
of the Rig-Veda of the Hindoos and of the Zend-Avesta of the ancient 
Persians. It culls little items of interest from a papyrus found under 
the ruins of Thebes and from the cuneiform inscriptions of the ancient 



REGNIER, HYPNOTISM AND ANCIENT BELIEFS. 397 

Turanians- The Hebrew, Greek ami Latin literatures are searched 
to prove the wonderful sameness of human weakness and gullibility 
through all the ages. Truly a wonderful book—fascinating and instruc¬ 
tive. “ One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” Dr. Regnier 
has given this touch, with grace and learning, to a subject which was 
quite worn out until reanimated by the magnetism of his pen. 

The book is evidently inspired, however, bj’ a preconceived idea. The 
author is an advoeate and uses his stores of learning sometimes in the 
manner of a special pleader. For him hypnotism did not exist in the past. 
It is a modern product, almost as much ns the steam-engine or the tele¬ 
graph. He finds little, if any, evidence of hypnotism in the religious 
ecstaey of the ancient fakirs, the impostures of the magi, the serpent- 
worship of the Egyptians and the hysterical contortions of the Grecian 
pythoness on her tripod. To establish his thesis he gives minute and 
interesting details of the various usages and rite3 of these different mystic 
sects, and accompanies his narrative with penetrating and instructive 
criticism. He is more bent, however, upon making distinctions than 
upon finding analogies. It is here, perhaps, that the philosophic student 
of hypnotism will take issue with him. He defines hypnotism as a special 
state of the nervous system, artificially produced, the characteristic of 
which is a complete or partial unconsciousness, with total forgetfulness 
of all that transpires during its continuance. This artificial sleep was 
not known until after Puvsegur, and was first described by the English¬ 
man, Braid. 

It is not for us to combat here the author’s views. Far from it, we 
agree with him that hypnotism is quite a modern cult, and nowhere so 
much at home as in his own France. There the practice has been made 
perfect; the ritual is complete. We nevertheless think, in the author’s 
own concise words: “ L’huraanitG, depuis que nous la connaissons par 
l’histoire, n’a gucre changfi.” Man has not changed—and the essential 
facts of hypnotism were in him at the beginning. Only this has hap¬ 
pened—a new method is in vogue: the fakir and the pythoness have 
given place to the trained comedienne of the modern hypnotic stance. 
The induced sleep is no sleep at all, but only the inhibition of a weaker 
brain by the suggestion of a stronger one, and the adjuncts of time and 
place. This suggestion is the vital fact in hypnotism, and not, as Dr. 
Regnier would have us believe, the artificial sleep. From our poiut of 
view we can see very many striking analogies between the modern prac¬ 
tice and the mystic rites which the author describes. From the time 
when Moses elevated on a pole the brazen serpent in the wilderness; or 
when the ancient Egyptians cast a spell over the faithful with the cabal¬ 
istic triangles; or when the Hindoo seer went into an ecstasy with 
gazing on bis own navel, down to the recent day when nn aged priest in 
Pennsylvania cured by faith the credulous and devout—humanity has 
changed hut little. 

Hence Dr. Regnier’s book may raise an issue in the minds^of some 
students; who will not fail, however, to accord to it the high praise which 
its historic value and literary excellence abundantly deserve. The book 
contains many illustrations, some of them quaint, and many of them 
unknown to us before. It has also a very long and useful list of refer¬ 
ences. J- H. L. 



398 


REVIEWS. 


CEovres Completes de J. M. Charcot. Hemorrhagie et Ramallisse- 

MENT 1)0 CERVEAO, 51 ETTA L LOTH ERA PIE ET HVP.VOTISSXE, ELECTRO- 

THERAPIE. Tome IX. Paris, 1890. 

Complete Works of J. M. Charcot. Ceredral Hemorrhage and 

Softening, SIetallotherapy and Hypnotism, Electrotherapy. 

As we are told in the preface by the editor, Bourneville, this volume 
comprises three parts of unequal importance. The first is devoted to 
diseases of the brain, especially to cerebral hemorrhage, and some of its 
complications, immediate and remote. In the second part have been 
collected the numerous papers of Charcot on metalloscopy, metallo- 
tlierapy and hypnotism. Scattered everywhere in the medical journals 
or in the transactions of the learned societies, it was very difficult for 
physicians to have recourse to the original publications, or to gain an 
exact idea of the work of the chief of the school of the Salputriere on 
these subjects. 

It is further pointed out with what circumspection Charcot undertook 
the study of hypnotism—neglected, discredited for many years, and 
regarded as difficult by the best minds. On this point, as on all others, 
tbe learning of Charcot rests on a most solid basis, on facts submitted 
to tbe severest tests, especially as the most pronounced scepticism pre¬ 
vailed at the time. His facts are to-day definitely accepted by the great 
majority of physicians who are seriously occupied with this department 
of neurology. 

In the third part is reproduced a lecture by Charcot on static elec¬ 
tricity, and which to some extent is related to the other subjects. 

Among the more important papers in the first part is the admirable 
research of Charcot on the Pathogenesis of Cerebral Hemorrhage, pub¬ 
lished originally in 1868; on Hemorrhage into the Posterior Third of the 
Internal Capsule, published in 1875; on Neo-membranes of the Dura 
JIater, 1860; and on Arthropathies depending on Lesions of the Brain 
and of the Cord, 1868. The last mentioned is especially interesting. 

In the second part the more important are. Hints and Observations 
on Metalloscopy and Metailotherapy, embracing among other things a 
consideration of the action ot magnets, and published in 1877; and 
another on the same subject, in which the phenomena of transfer are con¬ 
sidered ; others on Catalepsy and Somnambulism follow. The most inter¬ 
esting of all, however, are his studies on Hypnotism among Hysterical 
Subjects, published in 1881, and on which subject one of his pupils, Paul 
Richer, afterward published a volume. Surely the collection of papers 
before us shows how much we owe the knowledge we possess of these 
obscure subjects to Charcot and his school. 

Thus far nine volumes of Charcot's works have been published, and a 
tenth is to follow. All of them relate to neurological subjects except 
three—the fifth, sixth and seventh—which respectively embrace Charcot’s 
productions in the field of diseases of the lungs aud vascular apparatus, 
diseases of the liver and kidneys, and diseases of the aged, gout and 
rheumatism. They form an imposing monument of the life-work of this 
industrious man, and in their present shape the papers, properly col¬ 
lected aud arranged, form an indispensable source of reference. 

F. X. D.